Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotThe facts that fill the first pages about this gas giant are astoundingits storms are larger than the planet Earth; Jupiter’s gravity is so powerful that it makes the sun wobble; Jupiter is 2.5 times more massive that all the other planets in the solar system combined. It is referred to as a “gas giant” and is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. Like Saturn, there are rings around Jupiter, but they are very faint. There is a storm on Jupiter called the Great Red Spot and it has been raging for more than 400 years. Scientists believe that Jupiter was the first planet to form in our solar system and that it influenced the formation and orbits of the other planets. It also has many moons due to its strong gravitational pull (asteroids that have come too close have been captured). The four major moons discovered by Galileo are compared and contrasted. The books in this “New True Books: Space” series about the planets and Earth’s moon offer an enticing format. The first page challenges readers to find out which of two statements is true. There is an arrow that contains the text: “Find the answers in this book.” To help young readers appreciate the format of more substantial books for older readers, this one contains a content spread that lists each chapter heading followed by an intriguing question. There are also references to the back matter containing true statistics, resources, important words, an index and a brief blurb about the author. As with other books in the series there is an interesting timeline relating to the study of this planet. The answer to the question posed at the beginning of the book follows the “True Statistics” section and even the back cover contains some interesting information. The book’s generous full color photographs and illustrations help easily explain the facts. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot; Ages 8 to 10.
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